Allergies are never fun, especially for dog owners…
If you are thinking about adopting a Chihuahua and you or someone in your household suffers from pet allergies, don’t worry we’re going to answer the itching question “are chihuahuas hypoallergenic dogs?” once and for all.
Keep reading to find if Chihuahuas (long-haired or short-haired) are considered hypoallergenic dog breeds.
You may also be surprised to learn what really causes pet allergies and what steps you can take to minimize your allergic reaction regardless of the dog breed you choose.
Let’s jump in…
What makes a dog hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic is just a fancy way of saying a dog causes fewer allergic reactions than other breeds. How much a dog will shed is a determining factor in how hypoallergenic a dog really is. That’s why it’s very difficult to find a dog that is 100% hypoallergenic.
What causes dog allergies in humans?
The real culprit is pet dander and not the hair or fur. There is a protein that’s found in the saliva, dander, and urine of dogs. The two proteins are called Can f I and Can f II. The proteins stick to the dead, dried flakes of your dog’s skin (dander).
Pet dander causes an allergic reaction called allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, in humans. It affects about 40 to 60 million Americans and 600 million people worldwide. It’s a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when our immune system overreacts to allergens in the air.
Dog allergy symptoms:
- Sneezing or a runny or stuffy nose.
- Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
- Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
- Watery, red or itchy eyes.
- Skin rash or hives.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds recommended by breeders mean they shed very little. Because they don’t shed as much as other breeds, there’s less chance for the allergy-causing dander to get released into the air, on your furniture and floors.
So that leads us to the big question, how much do Chihuahuas shed?
How much do Chihuahuas shed?
The fact is, ALL dog breeds shed. The Chihuahua is considered a “medium” level shedder. How much they shed depends on their coat. Is it smoothe, long-haired, short-haired? You can also minimize shedding by grooming (more on this later)…
Most dogs shed seasonally. Dogs typically shed their winter coats in the spring to give way to their light summer coats. When fall arrives, they shed again to make room for their winter coats.
Chihuahuas shed all year long but the heaviest in the springtime. That’s why they are considered “medium” level shedders.
Are long-haired chihuahuas hypoallergenic?
Long-haired Chihuahuas have more hair and require more grooming. Regardless of the dog you choose, you will need to frequently groom your dog to prevent the spread of dander. And if you are allergic to the protein in dog dander, raising a long-haired chihuahua (or any long-haired dog) may not be the best choice for you.
Are smooth-coated or short-haired chihuahuas hypoallergenic?
Smooth-coated (also known as short-haired) chihuahuas will be easier to groom and maintain the dog’s dander. Their fur is shorter and easier to manage. Both breeds are identical except for their coats.
If you love chihuahuas and are mildly prone to dog allergies, go with the short-haired chihuahuas.
Dog Allergies, Grooming and The Root of The Problem
As previously mentioned, the root of the problem is dog dander. More specifically the protein found in dog dander is what causes our human immune system to overreact. The easiest way to minimize this problem is to frequently groom your dog.
The skin is the largest organ on a dog’s body, so it’s important to keep it clean and healthy. Brushing your dog regularly helps spread the natural oils in the skin, removes dead skin, dander and any hair that is about to shed away. This is very important to do often, especially during the shedding months in the fall and springtime.
Here are some tips to make this a pleasant experience for both you and your dog:
- Give your dog a bath at least once a month. You can use anti-dander pet shampoos if you must.
- Before you bathe your dog, try using the highly-effective Furminator for Dogs. This tool effectively reduces shedding by up to 95% and professionals use it.
- Make sure you groom your dog outside away from your inside furniture.
- Vacuum often to remove any excess dog hair and dander.
- Feed your dog a nutrient-dense diet that helps maintain healthy skin, coat, and essential oils.
- Consider changing your central A/C filters when needed and install filters made for pet dander. You may also consider an air purifier for your home.
So there we have it. While Chihuahuas are not considered Hypoallergenic Dogs, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy and love these little cute dogs that originate from Mexico.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog breed. The root of the problem is dog dander. Regular grooming and bathing of dogs may reduce allergens but not completely eliminate them. But since Chihuahuas are a smaller dog breed, they shed less than a larger dog breed would. And that may make them the perfect hypoallergenic dog for you.
Regardless of the dog breed that you choose to love in your life, frequent grooming, baths, and hygienic home practices will keep the dander at a minimum so you and your furry canine companion can live and in a happy and healthy home.